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J Microbiol. 2005 Feb;43 Spec No:101-9.

Quorum sensing and quorum-quenching enzymes.

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Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 61 Biopolis Drive, Proteos, Singapore 138673.


To gain maximal benefit in a competitive environment, single-celled bacteria have adopted a community genetic regulatory mechanism, known as quorum sensing (QS). Many bacteria use QS signaling systems to synchronize target gene expression and coordinate biological activities among a local population. N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs) are one family of the well-characterized QS signals in Gram-negative bacteria, which regulate a range of important biological functions, including virulence and biofilm formation. Several groups of AHL-degradation enzymes have recently been identified in a range of living organisms, including bacteria and eukaryotes. Expression of these enzymes in AHL-dependent pathogens and transgenic plants efficiently quenches the microbial QS signaling and blocks pathogenic infections. Discovery of these novel quorum quenching enzymes has not only provided a promising means to control bacterial infections, but also presents new challenges to investigate their roles in host organisms and their potential impacts on ecosystems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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